Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Phenomenological Quotidian

I first read of the term "Phenomenological Quotidian" in an essay by R.D. ABRAHAMS. In his essay Ordinary and Extraordinary Experience he draws pragmatist philosophy to phenomenology with an indirect comparison between the "Quotidian" and the pragmatist's concept of "experiential flow" (p68). Abrahams discusses a balance that on "the one hand, there is a flow of activity [pragmatist], and on the other, distinctive marked-out acts and events [quotidean], all going under the name of experience." His reasoning is based upon sociological phenemonologist Alfred Schutz's "contrast between ‘the world of paramount reality’ and all others". The quotidian being a "a representation of the ‘real’ world from which all other states of experience depart" (p67).

I am still to come across this term in the phenomenological literature I have, but the pragmatist idea of "experiential flow" may have links to a book I still need to read (on my reading pile since March 2009) that I'm sure will be come very useful. The book is Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

References used:
ABRAHAMS, R.D. (1986) Ordinary and Extraordinary Experienc. In: V.W. TURNER & E.M. BRUNER, ed(s). The Anthropology of Experience. Chicago: University of Illinois, pp45-72.

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